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Secret Agent

aka: Operation: Impossible, SAM, Secret Agent Man
Moby ID: 982
DOS Specs
Buy on Windows
$4.99 new on Steam
Conversion (official) Included in See Also

Description official descriptions

As Agent 006, you are the world's only hope: the terrorist organization known as the D.V.S. has captured the blueprints to a new, powerful weapon known as the "Red Rock Rover". Your mission is to infiltrate several islands occupied by the D.V.S. and retrieve each part of the blueprints. The shareware version only has the first episode available; the registered version consists of three installments, packed as separate executables.

Secret Agent is a side-scrolling platform game, where your objective is to complete 15 levels, allowing you to gain access to the "main fortress" which is the 16th level. On each level, you have to find and destroy a radar dish, and also find a bundle of dynamite and place it at the exit to blow it open.

On your way, you'll be threatened by human henchmen and robots, as well as various hazards, such as spikes, deadly laser beams (which have to be de-activated by finding a floppy disk and bringing it to a computer terminal) or pools of acid. The only weapon you have is a rifle which can be used to kill most opponents, though some are immune to bullets or require a little more than shooting blindly if you want to kill them! Agent 006 has three health points, and losing all three will kill him (though you have unlimited lives) - not to mention that some hazards kill instantly! You'll also have to make good use of pushable barrels which you can occasionally find: they'll be used as stepping-stones to reach higher ground, but make sure you don't drop them into a pit from which they cannot be retrieved.

There's a variety of objects to collect - ammunition, bonus objects that give score (such as bags of money, briefcases, walkie-talkies etc.), and an opportunity to get a big score bonus: on each level, if you find three letters S, P, Y and collect them in the exactly right order, you'll get a lot of points - but it won't be easy! You can also find a few power-ups: boots that speed you up for a while, goggles that makes a few more platforms appear (thus giving you access to unreachable spots), an "increased shot power" item which allows you to fire faster, but also a question mark which reverses your movement for a moment (very confusing) or a "1/2" fraction which slows you down.

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Reviews

Critics

Average score: 83% (based on 3 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.5 out of 5 (based on 37 ratings with 5 reviews)

A decent platform-game for Apogee-fans (really, it is!)

The Good
The graphics and sounds are typical EGA and beeper stuff - not particularly brilliant but good enough not to disturb the gameplay. The gameplay is the same as in Crystal Caverns: the controls are way better than in the first episodes of Commander Keen (no inertia here), and the levels are reasonably sized.

The Bad
It does get VERY frustrating at times, with moving platforms and monsters that require multiple shots to die. There are also levels where one mistake can render you unable to complete the level. This is all in keeping with the tradition of platform games, but after you've played Duke Nukem (thats Duke Nukem, not Duke Nukem II or 3D) this really does seem an "unfriendly" game. Then again, after you've played Super Mario on a Nintendo, your feelings might change. (All right, so I'm lousy at console games, there, I said it!)

The Bottom Line
If you like Crystal Caverns (and why shouldn't you), this might very well be an enjoyable game. I've completed it a couple of times and I never felt like throwing the machine about (unlike when I play Super Mario, but I'm digressing...) or cursing aloud (which I do a lot playing most anything). In short, its a nice little game with nice little graphics and very suitable for playing on your coffee-break.

DOS · by Late (77) · 2001

Uses the Crystal Caves engine

The Good
The government is working on the top-secret project known as “Red Rock Rover”, a ruby-powered laser that has the ability to pinpoint and fire at any target from Earth’s orbit. Unfortunately, three blueprints were stolen by the Diabolic Villain Society (DVS). The government hired Agent 006 to infiltrate the DVS headquarters on each of the three islands, and recover the blueprints.

There are three episodes to Secret Agent: “The Hunt for Red Rock Rover”, “Kill Again Island”, and “Dr. No Body”. In each episode, you will explore fifteen levels, where you have two tasks: blow up a satellite dish, and get some dynamite that will blow open the exit door. Without completing these tasks, you cannot complete the level. Once you do these tasks for all fifteen levels, the security gate protecting the fortress will open, allowing you to enter and get the blueprint inside. In most levels, some satellite dishes are in an area blocked off by a laser field, and you must de-activate it by inserting a disk in a computer.

Stopping Agent 006 from moving one step closer to the blueprints are numerous enemies, including metal dogs and robots. One of the first enemies you come across in Episode 1 Level 1 are thugs, which when shot, becomes a ninja master. Shoot him again and he becomes a ninja, a sentry, and a guard. Shoot the guard and a tombstone appears, which you can pick up for 1000 points. Accidentally shoot the tombstone, and you only receive 100 points. You should also watch out for hazards including spikes, water, and toxic waste.

You start off with three health points, represented by three Agent 006es. Once you are hit by an enemy, you lose one health point. Lose all three health points, and you have to restart the level. Instant death occurs if you touch laser fields, fall into water, or fall into toxic waste. You also have a limited amount of ammo. You start each episode with five shots. You can get more by picking up a bullet which gives you five more shots. You can save ammo by jumping over enemies.

Some parts of the level may be out of reach without moving a barrel near the out-of-reach place, and jumping from it to reach the platform, getting a pair of glasses that make invisible platforms appear, or by collecting the required keys (colored red, green, and blue) to open doors, corresponding to the key color. Some parts of the level or island cannot be reached by entering a teleporter.

There are goodies in which the ordinary spy can carry, such as toothbrush and toothpaste, wristwatches, money bags, briefcases, computer boards, magnifying glasses, and walkie-talkies. In most levels, collect the letters “S”, “P”, and “Y” in their correct order to also score points. Other points can be gained by finishing the level without no health lost, or touching a few flags.

The graphics are quite detailed than those in Crystal Caves. The only sounds you will hear are those coming out of the PC Speaker.

The Bad
Nothing.

The Bottom Line
Great game that is slightly better than Crystal Caves. 3D Realms still sells Secret Agent, so if you’ve played the shareware version, and want to recover the three blueprints, order it from 3D Realms. Along with Commander Keen, I would love to see a remake of Secret Agent, or remake it myself. ****½

DOS · by Katakis | カタキス (43091) · 2003

Not much fun.

The Good
Odd, considering it's largely based on the excellent Crystal Caves, but Secret Agent isn't nearly as fun as it's older brother. The only really good thing about this game is the excellent control system, which is only to be expected of a platform game.

The Bad
Horrible graphics, undeniably bad sound effects and overall bad gameplay make this game truely pointless. Also, considering it came out in '92, you'd expect something better than terrible EGA graphics and lousy sidescrolling.

The Bottom Line
A bad plaform game I wouldn't touch, nor should you.

DOS · by Tomer Gabel (4538) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Discussion

Subject By Date
"Lost" special effect? Nowhere Girl (8680) May 14, 2019

Trivia

Mission names

Like most Apogee platformers Secret Agent is actually a trilogy. The first part of the trilogy is shareware, part two & part three are not. The names of the three episodes are:1. Mission One:"The Hunt for Red Rock Rover"- Mission Two:"Kill Again Island"- Mission Three:"Dr. No Body"

Patch

October 24th, 2005, Apogee released patched v1.0a shareware versions (and patches for registered versions) of old play-alike games Crystal Caves and Secret Agent after discovering that quitting these games under some installs of Windows XP (an operating environment that wasn't a twinkle in Bill Gates' eye at the time of these games' release) in some cases set the system clock back a century!

Credit for the fix goes to Peter "DOSBox" Veenstra and Crystal Caves' original programmer Frank Maddin; as the press release likes to point out, patching these titles up to 14 years after their initial release "has to be some kind of record."

The patched shareware version of Secret Agent can be downloaded here ; the patch for registered versions can be downloaded here.

References

  • The secret agent's number, 006, is a reference to James Bond's secret agent number 007.
  • The names of the three episodes are all puns on existing works:
    • "The Hunt For Red Rock Rover" - The Hunt for Red October
    • "Kill Again Island" - Gilligan's Island
    • "Dr. No Body" - Dr. No

Information also contributed by Pseudo_Intellectual and Roedie

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Derrick 'Knight' Steele.

Windows, Macintosh added by Sciere. Linux added by LepricahnsGold.

Additional contributors: Erwin Bergervoet, rey_, Apogee IV, Frenkel, Alaka, Havoc Crow.

Game added March 6, 2000. Last modified January 25, 2024.